×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

End of an Era: Disney and Jerry Bruckheimer Part Ways

The studio and the 'Lone Ranger' producer will not seek to renew a first-look deal when it expires next year

The Walt Disney Studios and Jerry Bruckheimer have decided not to renew their first-look deal when it expires next year, ending a relationship that’s been one of Hollywood’s more successful partnerships since the 1990s.

The studio said it will continue to focus on its branded franchise films from the Disney, Pixar, Marvel and now Lucasfilm banners, while Bruckheimer is looking to produce a slate of “more mature” pics outside the scope of the Disney brand. Translation: there just wasn’t room for Bruckheimer in the Mouse House anymore.

Disney’s move to make films that are franchise friendly for not only the multiplex but also TV, theme parks and Disney’s consumer products division wound up giving Bruckheimer few options for more adult fare that he’s been developing for years. Those projects include an adaptation of Lorenzo Carcaterra’s 1997 novel “Apaches,” about renegade cops in New York City who take the law into their own hands.

Disney and Bruckheimer will continue working together on various projects including the fifth installment of “Pirates of the Caribbean” and a third “National Treasure.”

The film was recently pulled from the summer 2015 release schedule in order to improve the script. A third “National Treasure,” among other projects are still in development at the studio with Bruckheimer’s film banner. The “Pirates” franchise has gone on to earn more than $5.4 billion worldwide for Disney.

The move was announced Thursday evening.

Variety first reported that the prolific producer would meet with Disney beginning next month over whether to renew his current deal. But the decision to end their relationship came sooner than expected. It follows this summer’s disappointing performance of “The Lone Ranger,” which is forcing Disney to write off as much as $190 million in losses.

SEE ALSO: Disney, Jerry Bruckheimer Ready to Discuss Producer’s Future

Together, Disney and Bruckheimer produced major tentpoles like the “Pirates” pics, “Pearl Harbor,” “Armageddon,” “Con Air” and “The Rock,” which were mostly released through the Touchstone label. Touchstone is now used to distribute DreamWorks’ live action films. But Bruckheimer’s films aren’t as successful as they once were, with “Lone Ranger,” “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” “Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time” and “G-Force” all pricey stumbles at the worldwide box office.

Still Bruckheimer’s films have earned more than $3.4 billion for Disney at the domestic box office, alone.

“Jerry is one of the most respected and prolific producers working in the motion picture industry, and we have had an incredibly successful collaboration over the past two decades and he is a friend to many of us here at Disney,” said Alan Horn, chairman of the Walt Disney Studios. “We will continue to work together in the future, and we look forward to seeing more of the films that have made Jerry Bruckheimer a Hollywood legend.”

Bruckheimer already had been setting up several projects elsewhere.

He has another “Bad Boys” in development at Sony, where he made “Black Hawk Down,” and Sony’s Screen Gems will release his Eric Bana thriller “Beware the Night.” He also is developing a “Top Gun” sequel at Paramount and is likely to come aboard the studio’s next “Beverly Hills Cop,” the fourth installment in that franchise.

“I am very appreciative of the wonderful collaboration and support I have had at the Walt Disney Company for over twenty years and the 27 movies we have made together,” Bruckheimer said. “The good news is we will continue working together on ‘Pirates of the Caribbean,’ ‘National Treasure’ and other projects we have developed together at the studio. I am thankful to have had the opportunity to work with these amazing people at The Walt Disney Studios, many of whom have become my good friends. As we continue to make adventure films, we look forward to returning to films like ‘Black Hawk Down,’ ‘Enemy of the State,’ ‘Beverly Hills Cop,’ and ‘The Rock.’”

More Biz

  • Timbaland

    Hipgnosis Songs Acquires Timbaland Catalog

    The fast-rising Hipgnosis Songs Fund Limited continues its aggressive growth surge, acquiring a catalog from songwriter-producer-artist Timbaland that comprises 108 albums and songs. Timbaland is one of the most successful songwriter-producers in the hip-hop/R&B realm: The catalog includes hits by Justin Timberlake, Missy Elliott, Aaliyah, Jay-Z, Nelly Furtado, 50 Cent, Madonna, 2Pac, Rihanna, Drake and [...]

  • Rufus Wainwright Signs With BMG for

    Rufus Wainwright Signs With BMG for New Studio Album

    Singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright has signed a new global recordings agreement with BMG to release his upcoming studio album. The still-untitled album, Wainwright’s ninth of original material and first since 2012, is described in the announcement as “a return to form and his most accessible album to date.” To that end, it is “the bookend” to [...]

  • Kevin Feige Marvel Studios Variety Cover

    Kevin Feige Named Chief Creative Officer of Marvel

    Kevin Feige’s universe continues to grow. The mastermind of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been named Chief Creative Officer, Marvel in addition to being president of Marvel Studios, Variety has learned. He will now be responsible for the overall creative direction of Marvel’s storytelling across mediums, including publishing, film, TV, and animation. Marvel Television and [...]

  • China presentation mipcom

    Reality Shows, Rom-Coms and Ping Pong Dramas: Chinese Producers Show Off TV Exports

    At its best, television serves as a mirror for its audience. This year, the Mipcom conference trained its annual country-of-focus spotlight on original TV content produced in China. That proved to be a timely choice as the conference came on the heels of last week’s headline-making clashes between Chinese and Western cultural values in the [...]

  • Felicity Huffman

    Felicity Huffman Reports to Federal Prison to Serve Two-Week Sentence

    Felicity Huffman reported to federal prison in Dublin, Calif., on Tuesday morning to begin her two-week sentence for paying to cheat on her daughter’s SAT test. Huffman pleaded guilty to one count of fraud, admitting that she paid $15,000 to consultant Rick Singer to boost her daughter’s SAT score. Judge Idira Talwani sentenced her last [...]

  • Sallie Krawcheck

    Sallie Krawcheck's Ellevest Launches Women-Focused Impact Investment Platform

    Ellevest, the female-focused investment platform headed by Sallie Krawcheck, has launched an impact investment fund that will court high-net-worth women in entertainment and other sectors who want to tailor their stock portfolios to favor companies with good track records on a range of social concerns. Krawcheck, who was one of the highest-ranking women on Wall [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content